01 September, 2011
Is It OK for a 2-Month-Old to Get Oatmeal Cereal in a Bottle?
A 2-month-old baby should drink only breast milk, formula or a combination of the two. She does not need any additional nutrition at this time. In fact, any additional foods can be harmful to her sensitive and developing digestive system.
According to FamilyDoctor.org, adding oatmeal to a baby's bottle can cause him to become overweight. It may throw off his instinct to know that he is full and he will not learn how to listen to his body's signals. Instead, he will learn to overeat. If he is nursing, he may need to nurse more often, especially through the growth spurts that happen between 2 and 4 months old. If he is bottle fed, he may need an additional bottle throughout the day. Solid foods do not provide any benefits until at least 4 months old.
A 2-month-old baby has not yet lost his tongue thrust reflex, which is his natural way of pushing anything foreign out of his mouth. A baby is not ready for solid foods until he loses this reflex, somewhere between 4 and 6 months old. If the parent puts oatmeal cereal in his bottle, he will naturally try to push it out of his mouth. Or, he may choke on the pieces because his body is not developed enough to know how to swallow solids.
Sleep Not Affected
A common myth is that adding cereal to a bottle will help the baby sleep better. However, cereal is an empty calorie and will not help the baby sleep longer, says Dr. Alan Greene. He suggests that the baby may fall asleep faster, but he will most likely not stay asleep longer. He advises parents to look at the risks of adding cereal, such as choking and obesity, instead of the claim that it will make the baby sleep longer.
If a baby has trouble swallowing, is not gaining weight or has had digestive issues in the first few weeks of life, the doctor may suggest a thickener in the bottle. This is a decision that needs to be made by a medical professional not casually by a parent.
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